The Many Hats of Allen Morris

By Tacy Callies Having grown up in the small north Florida town of Macclenny, a farming community, Allen Morris was introduced to agriculture at an early age. His father died in a tractor accident when Morris was seven, but that didn’t deter him from wanting to earn a living in agriculture. In fact, at 14,…

Citrus Replanting Incentives in Face of HLB

HLB replanting

More than 50 attended a November 1 workshop in Lakeland to learn about incentives to induce citrus tree replanting. Replanting is needed to replace trees lost to HLB and other problems. Kayla Nickerson of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) talks about a relatively new incentive – her agency’s Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment…

Managing the Health and Productivity of HLB-Affected Groves

By Tripti Vashisth In 2005, huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening disease) was first discovered in Florida. Florida orange production changed from 242 million boxes in the pre-hurricane, pre-HLB, 2003–2004 season to 81.5 million boxes in 2015–2016. This dramatic reduction in yield is attributable to multiple causes, including a reduction in citrus acreage, citrus canker and…

Slow Start for Fresh Florida Grapefruit Season

Fresh

Fresh Florida grapefruit shipments continue to decline in concert with the downturn in production resulting from HLB and other problems. On October 26, the Florida Department of Citrus projected fresh Florida grapefruit shipments will be about 4.13 million boxes this season. Three seasons ago, in 2013-14, fresh Florida grapefruit shipments totaled 6.1 million boxes and…

Some Growers ‘Being Squeezed More than Others’ by HLB

HLB

Citrus Extension agent Steve Futch answers questions following a grower forum in Arcadia on October 27. Growers discussed production, bactericides for HLB and much more. The forum opened with one grower saying he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going. Another reported per-acre orange production of 450 to 500 boxes in some blocks…

Smelling Huanglongbing for Early-Detection

Another early-detection method being developed works by smelling huanglongbing infections in trees. This method detects the different scents plants give off. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have created a test that could lead to advances in fighting huanglongbing (HLB) disease in citrus. Researcher and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Christina Davis, said…

Control of Stem-End Rot of Fresh Citrus

By Mark A. Ritenour, Jiuxu Zhang and Megan M. Dewdney Decay of fresh citrus fruit is most often caused by fungal pathogens that grow and develop in the hot and wet conditions typical in Florida. While green and blue molds (Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum) and sour rot (Galactomyces citri-aurantii) are the most common postharvest…

Growers to Pay Department of Citrus Historically Low Tax Rate

citrus could recover

Citrus grower taxes supporting Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) programs this season will be 7 cents per box for processed oranges and fresh grapefruit – the two most utilized fruits. Those historically low rates were proposed early in 2016 by 12 large Florida citrus growers and adopted by the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on October…

Sneak Peek: November 2016 Citrus Industry Magazine

The November issue of Citrus Industry magazine will be available to readers soon. It features the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial citrus crop forecast for the 2016–17 season. The article includes coverage of the grower gathering at the Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch and industry reactions to the 70 million orange boxes figure. Two features in…

Grower Urges Participation in UF Nutrition Trials

grower nutrition trials

Central Florida citrus grower Vic Story tells why he’s participating in grower nutrition trials being conducted by University of Florida researcher Tripti Vashisth, and urges other growers to participate. “We need to look at some of the varying programs that the university has proposed in practical, out-in-the-grove situations over a period of time,” Story says.…

Analyzing Volatile Organic Compounds to Detect HLB

Fresh Oranges on a tree.

Another early detection and screening process for HLB has been developed at the University of California, Davis. Cristina Davis, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is using volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as indicators of disease in trees. VOCs are odors that are emitted by all living things. These odors can be very meaningful, because they…

Monitoring Plant Metabolism to Detect HLB

HLB pre-screening through analyzing plant metabolism holds potential to be a relatively inexpensive option for growers. Caroline Slupsky, professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and the Department of Technology at the University of California, Davis, is looking at the metabolism of citrus trees and analyzing changes as indicators of stress and disease.…

Controlling HLB with Thermotherapy: What Have We Learned So Far?

By Reza Ehsani, Megan Dewdney and Evan Johnson In the last two years, many growers looked at thermotherapy as a way of keeping HLB-affected citrus trees in production until a more permanent solution could be developed. It has been shown that thermotherapy can kill HLB-causing bacteria under controlled environments. But the exact time and temperature…

Citrus Black Spot Location and Management

citrus black spot

The citrus black spot (CBS) that emerged in Florida in 2010 apparently remains confined to Collier and Hendry counties, except for a single find in Polk County in 2013. “There’s a quarantine within those two counties (Collier and Hendry),” University of Florida researcher Jeff Rollins said in a Citrus Expo presentation. “The quarantine extends a…

Letter to the Editor: A Citrus Industry Ombudsperson

By Bill Castle University of Florida professor emeritus During a recent breakfast with an industry friend, I asked: What is your outlook on the future of our industry? His positive reply was direct and immediate. He expanded on that reply by revealing a realistic confidence in the ability of growers to plant and grow young…

Intensive Management of Grove Leads to Production Turnaround

citrus grove renovation

Citrus grower Paul Fabry discusses grove practices that led to a huge increase in production in a newly acquired Basinger grove in just a few seasons. The grove has approximately 750 net acres. “Two years ago when we first got the grove, it was in a shape that needed some renovation and I was advised…

‘The King’ Promotes Fresh From Florida

promotes Fresh From Florida

The great Richard Petty was at PMA's Fresh Summit for a partnership that promotes Fresh From Florida. Fresh From Florida has joined forces with "The King" to get Florida products in front of more consumers. Petty and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam stopped by AgNet Media's booth at the summit. Read More

Root Nutrition Key in HLB-Infected Trees

HLB root nutrition

University of Florida researcher Jude Grosser focused on root nutrition during the Citrus Nutrition Day at the Citrus Research and Education Center on October 11. In this report, he says citrus roots impacted by HLB are missing the nutrients they need and discusses possible solutions, including what he calls “hybrid nutrition programs.” “We’ve gotten kind…

Solace Found in Initial Citrus Crop Forecast

A bit of weight was lifted off of Florida citrus growers’ shoulders after hearing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial 2016–17 Florida citrus crop forecast that calls for 70 million boxes of oranges. Citrus industry members gathered at Florida Citrus Mutual’s Political Action Committee Clay Shoot and Crop Estimate Luncheon to hear the live forecast…

2016 Citrus Expo Presentations Now Available Online

Every year, the Citrus Expo seminar program provides a wealth of new research information for growers. Thanks to the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, much of the information from the 2016 Citrus Expo program can now be found online. PowerPoint presentations from nearly all the speakers can be found on the Citrus…